Comstock's magazine 0118 - January 2018 - Page 73

SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION An aerial photo of Santa Rosa following the wildfire, taken Oct. 12, 2017. THE POWER IS IN THE PLAN The time to get ready for an emergency is before one is on top of you BY STEVEN YODER Business owners in north Santa Rosa may have anticipated earthquakes and flood- ing, but they couldn’t have imagined that a wildfire would reach their doors. Urban boundaries are rarely breached by wildfires, but in early October of 2017 that’s exactly what happened there. So strong were the winds when the flames hit city limits that the blaze jumped from trees to buildings and continued to spread. There’s no way for owners to predict the next cataclysm, but there’s a way to mitigate the damage. By the time a ca- tastrophe is approaching it’s usually too late to prepare, say experts. At least a quarter of firms that close after a disaster never re- open, according to the Institute for Business & Home Safety. That’s why they say that imminent or not, the time is now to gird for January 2018 | 73